The most important literary phenomenon in the first half of the 1960s was that of the neo-avant-gardes gathered in Group 63, which took its name from the conference held in Palermo in October of that year and whose interventions were collected in a volume of the same name.
In fact, since 1961 the anthology I Novissimi, including poetic texts by A. Giuliani, who was its curator, E. Pagliarani, E. Sanguineti, N. Balestrini and A. Porta, had even dramatically exemplified the novelty of the textual solutions that emerged from the theoretical proposals of Verri, the magazine of L. Anceschi, and from the principle of the autonomy of art. The following volume The experimental novelfinally completed the resulting panorama more moved by internal contradictions than faithful to a common poetic; it will be sufficient to recall, for example, the almost neocrepuscular accents of Pagliarani’s poetry and the linguistic upheavals of the pages of Sanguineti, the ideological violence of Balestrini and the primacy of theory over praxis affirmed by B. Barilli, etc. What remained to give a unitary sense to the group, however, was the rejection of the now tired stylistic solutions of a neorealistic mold, the rejection from the all-domestic De Sanctis-Croce-Gramsci philosophical line for a broader consideration of modern thought (psychoanalysis, structuralism, semiology), and a open controversy against power and its mystified and commodified language and therefore considered capable of transmitting only false values destined to perpetuate the process of integration of public opinion, and of the intellectual forces themselves, to the dominant bourgeois culture. And it was from this laceration that a “schizomorphic vision” (Giuliani) was born with which contemporary poetry took possession of itself and of the present life.
According to searchforpublicschools.com, the most representative poetic works of the neo-avant-gardes are Triperuno (1964), which collected previous titles dating back to the early 1950s, by Sanguineti; How to act (1963) by Balestrini; The girl Carla (1960), Lesson of physics and Fecaloro (1968), Rosso Corpo Lingua (1977) by Pagliarani; What I have to tell you (1977, which concerns the collections of the sixties and seventies) of Porta; Acquaintance by mistake (1962) by F. Leonetti. To these must be added the collections of visual poetry and concrete poetry, in which L. Pignotti (Instructions for the use of the latest poetry models, 1968).
More complex and multifaceted is the problem of experimental fiction which, in addition to the three sanguinetian volumes Capriccio italiano (1963), Il Gioco dell’oca (1967) and Il Gioco del Satyricon (1970), includes important titles by G. Manganelli (Hilarotragoedia, 1964; New comment, 1969), by L. Malerba (The discovery of the alphabet, 1963; The snake, 1968) and by A. Arbasino, from Le piccola vacanze (1957) to L’anonimo lombardo (1959), to Fratelli of Italy (1963), to Super-Eliogabalo(1978) which summarizes the ways of a production that lasted until the nineties in which the novel form and the essay are contaminated. Outside the climate of the neo-avant-gardes and often in an attitude of clear controversy towards them, there are a good number of writers of considerable ethical as well as literary importance: F. Fortini, at the center of many cultural nodes since the 1940s (Verification of powers, 1965; The ungrateful guest, 1966; The dogs of Sinai, 1967); R. Roversi, solitary and polemical spirit, editor of the Rendiconti magazine, poet (After Campoformio, 1962; Descrizioni in act, mimeographed in 1970 with an editorial solution which was then widely diffused and recently replicated with the complete collection of mimeographs, 1990) and narrator (Record of events, 1964; I ten thousand horses, 1976); P. Volponi (Memorial, 1962; The world machine, 1965). But these are also the years that see the last production of PP Pasolini, partly posthumously released, which from the poems Le ceneri di Gramsci (1957) and subsequent collections (La religion del mio tempo, 1963; Poesia in forma di rosa, 1964) and the novels Ragazzi di vita (1955) and Una vita violenta(1959) now reached the prose of Ali with blue eyes (1965), the verses of Trasumanar and Organizzar (1971), the theatrical works (Calderón, Affabolazione, Porcile, etc.), the violent controversial pages of the Corsari Writings (1975) and of the Lutheran Letters (1976), finally of Petrolio (1992), however, increasingly accompanying his commitment to literature with an intense work as a film director.
During the sixties, Italian society experienced strong social and intellectual shocks summarized in the term of the ” protest ” linked above all to the student movement and also to profound trade union and workers’ claims. Their relationship with the linguistic and stylistic ” revolutions ” of the neo-avant-gardes does not appear clear except for a generic stance contrary to the institutions; it is certain, on the other hand, that the crisis of the neo-avant-gardes occurs precisely on the terrain of the choice of the relationship that must be established between literary commitment and political commitment.
The theme was widely debated in the magazine Quindici (1967-69, directed by A. Giuliani and for the last three issues by N. Balestrini) among the supporters of the absolute autonomy of art and literature and the supporters of a revolutionary art, with the consequences of a fatal rift for the life of the magazine, whose death also marks the end of the neo-avant-gardes.